Tour Confidential Daily: Who will Bellerive’s soft and slow conditions favor?

August 8, 2018

GOLF.com conducts a weekly roundtable with its staff to break down the game’s hottest topics every Sunday evening. This week for the PGA Championship we are answering one burning question each night. Check back for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation by tweeting us @golf_com.

Bellerive Country Club, the site of the 100th PGA Championship, is playing soft and the greens are slow. And, with the weather forecasted, it might be like this all week long. If conditions continue, who will Bellerive’s soft and slow conditions favor?

Michael Bamberger: Rory, Rahm, Gary Woodland. Not Zach Johnson. Nor Zach Johnson.

Alan Shipnuck: Everyone! They’re gonna tear this place to shreds. If it does rain on the weekend I could see 20 under winning.

Jessica Marksbury: Rory was my pick to win before the rain, and the soft conditions only make me like his chances more. Bring on the red numbers!

Alan Bastable: I don’t know Bellerive from Bel Air. (In fact, I’m not sure how to pronounce it.) But I’m told the fairways are wider than traditional bomb-and-gouge tracks like Firestone. That means well-placed shorter drives should be rewarded with better lines to attack the greens. Don’t count the Zachs out just yet!

Dylan Dethier: “Distance is not so important here as you might think,” Gary Player said after winning the 1965 U.S. Open at a 7,200-yard Bellerive (the longest-ever U.S. Open at the time). Will that hold true this week? I don’t know! But I thought it was interesting. The name of the game appears to be 1. Fairways and 2. Distance control with the irons. Sticking with Tiger but I think there’ll be plenty of variety among the leaders.

Josh Sens: It will favor bombers, and there a lot of those. Take your pick. Rahm. DJ. Justin Thomas. Rory. Within that subset, take the guy with the hottest putter, which is far more variable and harder to predict. I like Tony Finau because…what’s not to like?

Bellerive might allow some low scores. Will Jon Rahm be among those who take advantage?
Bellerive might allow some low scores. Will Jon Rahm be among those who take advantage?
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